How to Make Time for Yourself + Your Partner!

When I first got pregnant, my friends told me two things:

  1. Make time for yourself
  2. Make time for your partner


When our baby was born, I was constantly looking for ways to do both! Well ladies, I have found the perfect combo…GYM DATES! I know, I know…but hear me out because if done right, it can be a blast!!


Find a time and place that works for you.

There are so many great places to enjoy a workout together.  You can meet in your backyard for an afternoon workout, the gym or a nature area for a hike.

For us, it’s our gym where there is childcare. Wherever it is, make sure you both agree on the place and time. This will help decrease any anxiety or stress and make the workout that much more enjoyable!


Select a workout that is NEW for both of you.

During one of our first gym dates, we started the Core Rehab Program. The core work was equally challenging for both of us and was something we really enjoy doing together.

Get creative with your workouts!!  Go rock climbing, take a hot yoga class or go for a bike ride on a new trail.  Whatever adventure you choose, enjoy the time with your partner.


Don’t take yourselves too seriously.

Gym dates work because you both are in a stress-free zone where the endorphins are flowing.  Keep it fun and light and don’t get too competitive, mama!!


Know your emotional limit.  

It can be really hard to leave your baby at first.  Our first few gym dates were only about 30 minutes long. As time goes on and you get more comfortable, you can extend your gym dates.

The key to making gym dates work is being in the moment and enjoying something new with your partner.  Take it slow and enjoy whatever time you can allow with each other!!

Combining your workout and couple time is a great way to stay healthy, have fun and spend quality time with your partner!  And if gym dates are just not your thing, you can still apply these tips to whatever activity makes you happy!


Happy Bumpin!

~Coach Annie


To learn more about the Core Rehab Program, Pre+Postnatal Membership or the Prenatal Exercise Specialist Instructor Course, visit our website!

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Anxiety and Depression During Pregnancy + Postpartum: Dr. Dawn Kingston

It’s time to talk about mental health during pregnancy and postpartum. I was honored to have Dr. Dawn Kingston on The Core Connections Podcast to bring awareness to the stress, anxiety and depression that can occur during all stages of motherhood. As moms, partners and friends, we are surrounded by women who feel that there are certain expectations that accompany motherhood. Dr. Kingston wants to bring authenticity back and remind women that nobody’s perfect and nobody said you had to be. Join Dr. Kingston and I as we talk through how to effectively create strong emotional health in pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.


Dr. Dawn Kingston and her team are passionate about helping women and their families have the best start to life by improving maternal mental health. She is Canada’s only endowed research chair in perinatal mental health, and also holds the prestigious national New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Her research focuses on improving perinatal mental healthcare by developing and evaluating approaches for screening and treating women who struggle with depression and anxiety during pregnancy. She and her team are leading the field in using e-technology for screening and therapy in pregnant women so that women can get help whenever they need it, wherever they are.


Dawn started out as a neonatal nurse with a focus on mental health. She became interested in preventing pre-term birth and while getting her masters, she realized that the biggest connection to pre-term births was stress.

The more she got interested in the topic, the more she realized that it didn’t just have to do with stress, but also anxiety, depression and overall mental health. Through her research, she realized that a baby’s prenatal years were framing the well-being of the child going forward into adulthood. But what stunned Dawn is that other professionals weren’t doing anything about it.

Since then, Dawn and her team have been working to change the system so there can be early detection and mental health care that sets women up for the years to come.


A big myth around anxiety + depression during pregnancy is that it has to do with hormones. Women don’t always recognize the symptoms and therefore do not seek help, because they think it’s something that comes with pregnancy or being postpartum.

Dawn explains that there are 4 things that relate to prenatal + postnatal anxiety and depression. Dawn and I are firm believers that any of these points are areas that women can work to change or manage.


There is no shame in having experienced, or are experiencing, anxiety or depression in your life. If you have a past with anxiety or depression, this could lead you to have a greater vulnerability for anxiety or depression during pregnancy or postpartum. But, by knowing that, you are able to better manage it throughout your pregnancy journey and life as a new mom.


Strong social support doesn’t relate to the number of friends or family that you have in your life, it has to do with the quality of those relationships to help be there for you in this journey. The other side of that is how much are you investing to connect with those quality relationships. Life gets busy, but it’s important to keep those connections strong to better ensure strong emotional health.


Now, there is such a thing as good, healthy stress. Good stress is a type of stress that an athlete might feel that pumps them up and helps them perform better. Toxic stress comes into play when that stress becomes too high or you have it for too long and you can no longer manage it. In our current world, social stress plays a big role in taking us to that chronic stress threshold. Yes, dealing with high stress during pregnancy can have an impact on the child + moms quality of life, but it also is one of the main factors that can evolve into anxiety and depression for women.


There are two personality tendencies that are more vulnerable to experience anxiety or depression during pregnancy or postpartum. The first one has to do with perfectionism and guilt. About 30% of women are in this category where they have a high drive for unrealistic goals that they have set for themselves or others. The second personality type is neuroticism. This means that someone is a bit more emotionally reactive in situations. These aren’t negative traits, it’s just something to be aware of when learning to manage anxiety and depression.


This formula is a wonderful tool for life, so what does it mean? E stands for event, it’s the scenario that happens in your life. O is the outcome, it’s what happens in result of that. And the R is the one that you have control over and that is your response. The response piece relates to the brain and how you control your thoughts which control your feelings. Neuroscience says that you can redirect the meaning behind certain thoughts or correlations in the mind. Many find that it does take time to take an old thought pattern and turn it into a new thought pattern, but it all starts bringing your awareness to that R.


Remember that stress doesn’t always relate to one thing, it could be multiple things that are causing you to experience high stress. These stressors are different for everyone, so it’s important to identify those high stressors in your life so you can work to manage it. But here are some ways that Dawn recommends you work to manage the stress in your life

  • Most common high stressors have to do with relationships, so that’s why social support plays a key role in working to minimize anxiety, depression and stress in your life. Check in on those relationships and work to make them better.
  • Throughout your day, focus on the small wins to help bring in positive energy to your life.
  • Ask yourself this question, what would you need tomorrow in your life to feel some relief? This helps you focus on one small thing that you have the power to change to better manage your stress levels.
  • Other common ways include exercise, getting out into nature, journaling, meditation, yoga and mindfulness.

Whatever first step you take, it has to be small enough to show yourself that you can do it. It also has to be the one that helps give you some measure of control back into your life because often that stress comes from feeling out of control.


Dawn touches on two types of expectations that many experience when it comes to motherhood and pregnancy. The first is self-expectations that you create for your own behavior and actions. The second is social expectations that can be created by others. More times than not, social expectations are what triggers anxiety and depression during pregnancy. This is where social media gets involved as some feel the pressures of seeing what others are doing that you’re not or not doing as well. This causes you to doubt yourself and your instinct. Dawn and I encourage you to trust in yourself and your intuition as a mother.






The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase by using the link. Please understand that I recommend these products because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decided to buy.

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How To Build Your Tribe

“Surround yourself with the dreamers, the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself. ~Edmund Lee

Have you ever noticed how your attitude and energy changes depending on your company? When you’re around positive, uplifting individuals, you usually feel happy and energetic, right?

Because we are human, we tend to be heavily influenced by the individuals we choose to surround ourselves with. These influencers play a major role in forming our mindset, energy, feelings and behaviors.

How do you ensure you are surrounding yourself with the right people?  Here are my 4 tips to building your ride or die tribe.


“Happiness is like change…it starts from within.”

Before focusing your attention on others, I recommend looking inward first. How is your attitude? How do you treat people? What does your mindset look like? What kind of energy are you giving off?  These questions are important to think about because you will attract the same energy you are putting out.  Like attracts like.  Happiness is a choice and in order to attract positive, uplifting people that are going to believe in you, you have to embody those traits first.


“You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.”

Having friends that have like-minded morals, ethics and lifestyle choices can make conversations and get-togethers more enjoyable and fulfilling. We all need individuals in our lives to bounce ideas off of, get advice from and vent to. So, if you are passionate about health and wellness and want to live a holistic lifestyle, having these like-minded individuals can help ensure the advice you seek is in line with your way of thinking and living.


“Speak with honesty, think with sincerity and act with integrity.”

True friends are hard to find, but when you do, you realize just how valuable they are.  True friends will be there for you through thick and thin and not judge you when you are at your worst. They will also be the ones to tell you when you can’t pull off that dress or when you need an attitude adjustment.  Think of these individuals as a compass or guide.  They will not be “yes people” and just tell you what you want to hear.  They will be honest with you because they truly have your best interest at heart.


“Be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”

Friendship is a two-way street so make sure you are putting in equal time and effort into the relationship. Not everything is about you even when you are going through a rough patch. Take the time to listen to the other person(s) and give them your undivided attention. As we all know, life is like a roller coaster, there are ups and downs.  But with great company, that journey can be a lot easier and filled with love and laughter.

If you are ready to upgrade your health, wellness or business, apply for one-on-one training with Erica.


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Health Add-Ins To Boost Your Body Wellness

Life as a busy mama is HARD! Focusing on your body wellness doesn’t have to be.

Here are 4 easy, healthy + effective add-ins that can help boost your body wellness and have you feeling your best day after day!


This powerhouse spice packs a TON of anti-inflammatory punch!!

Turmeric can help decrease bloating, alleviate joint pain, minimize digestive inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure. This versatile golden spice can also help improve liver function and boost your immune health!

By adding a dash of pure, organic Turmeric to your food, coffee, water or smoothie, you can begin to experience the amazing benefits turmeric has to offer!


Herbs are major culinary players that can excite your tastebuds, give off a beautiful aroma and bring life to an ordinary recipe!

Your tastebuds are not the only benefactor as these herbs also possess remarkable health benefits. The true power of herbs lies in their wealth of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Many studies have shown that the polyphenols in herbs can help combat heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and more.

It’s time to spice it up! Add any of your favorite spices: Sage, Rosemary, Oregano, Cilantro, Basil and/or others to your breakfast, lunch + dinner. It’s an easy and effective way to help boost your body wellness and make your meals more flavorful + enjoyable.


Himalayan sea salt is very different than regular table salt and is actually considered good for you!

It contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals that help your body get the sodium it needs while working to reduce mild to moderate respiratory problems such as asthma, congestion and other inflammation-related lung problems.

It has also been linked to improving insulin sensitivity, vascular health and circulation in the body. If you continuously feel dehydrated despite the vast amount of water you are drinking, chances are you are lacking the important minerals in your body that help absorb the water.

Try sprinkling a pinch of Himalayan sea salt into your water. This can make a huge difference and will leave you feeling hydrated!!


This is an oldie, but goodie!

Chamomile tea is great for reducing menstrual cramps, lowering blood sugar, slowing or preventing osteoporosis, reducing inflammation and helping with sleep and relaxation. Because of its powerful antioxidant properties, Chamomile tea can improve the overall appearance of your skin.

After a long day, brew yourself a cup of organic Chamomile tea, relax and reset… you deserve it, mama!

For more tips, tricks and easy ways to boost your body wellness, check out the Pre+Postnatal Membership and the Core Nutrition Program.

Happy Bumpin!

~Coach Annie

Always consult your physician before changing your diet.  

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Pregnancy Essentials Workout Collection: Sara Haley

As a mom, is it hard for you to find time for you without experiencing mom guilt? Do you settle for eating what you made your kids for lunch? Are you still struggling to lose those last 5 pounds of pregnancy weight? I hear you, mama! That’s why I invited Sara Haley on this episode to help keep it real with you on all things motherhood related. Sara and I are both drawn into this prenatal + postnatal exercise specialist world and work to make a healthy lifestyle sustainable for all moms out there! Though fitness continues to be a big part of Sara’s life, motherhood inspired her to expand beyond fitness and share more of her life journey and struggles. So, take some time for you mama and join in on Sara and I’s chit chat about the juggle that we call motherhood.


Sara Haley is an LA-based fitness expert, pre + postnatal exercise specialist and a mom of three. She’s also the creator of the Expecting More DVD, The Fourth Trimester Workout for after baby and beyond, Sweat Unlimited which offers quick workout solutions for busy people, and her newest workout program the Pregnancy Workout Essentials Collection. With almost 20 years of experience in the fitness industry and seven years as a Reebok master trainer, she has recently listed as one of the best fitness Instagram accounts to follow by Women’s Health.


Sara always had a passion for dance and after college wanted to pursue a career in dance, choreography and entertainment in New York City. Her time in New York led her to her fitness career as she was teaching classes and ultimately recruited by Reebok to help develop programs for JUKARI. After she had her oldest son, she traded her job traveling the world as a Reebok Master Trainer and working as a celebrity trainer and instructor in New York City for motherhood in Santa Monica, California. Now a mom of three, she shares her challenges, experiences and tools across many social platforms to help other moms discover their own interests and connect with other like-minded women.


No matter how many kids you have, an important part of motherhood is taking time for yourself. This is the hardest piece to remember, to implement and to allow. Trying to care for everyone else often feels like the most important, but as moms, we tend to forget that if we aren’t caring for ourselves then we can’t take care of our family in the best way possible.

The little self-care actions are important to implement into your routine because otherwise they will keep adding up and add more stress to your body + life. So, schedule that eye doctor appointment or go get that acupuncture because you deserve + need it, mama!

As for mommy guilt… it will arise, but Sara reminds you to be okay with the guilt because if you don’t find time to get enough sleep, to get moving or to eat nutritious food then it’s harder for you to do your job as a mother well. If you implement one piece of self-care a day, you will start to feel happy and healthier and at the end of the day, all your kids want is to be around a happy mom.



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A very common mom behavior when it comes to nutrition is eating what you make for your kids! Sara got sucked into this habit after she had her third, but once she brought awareness to the way it was making her feel, she shifted her mindset and created small changes in her meals to keep her feeling her best throughout her day. Here are some changes that you could be making in your daily life:


Swap out your breakfast burrito for an egg scramble! Below, I shared with you my nutritious Egg Scramble recipe straight from my Core Nutrition Program to help get your morning started!


Don’t eat that quesadilla + fries that you made your kids for lunch. Instead, opt-in for a salad or soup! I love getting in some good greens in my afternoon meal, so here is access to my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad from my Core Nutrition Program!


If you find yourself making a lot of pasta dinners, switch out the regular noodles for zucchini noodles. This Greek Spinach + Garbanzo Bean Salad from Core Nutrition is a great way to incorporate spiralized noodles for your family table!

Start making conscious choices of cutting out those extra carbohydrates at your meals to start feeling better, and soon enough, those choices will start becoming lifelong healthy habits!


As moms, we naturally become creatures of habit. Whether it’s eating the same lunch every day or sticking to the same workout routine. I’m all for creating healthy habits, but it’s important to mix up your activity or nutrition so your body doesn’t get bored and you can keep seeing results. Our bodies need variety!!

Sara and I want you to get excited with your workout routine! That’s why Sara and I have both created programs for prenatal and postnatal women so they can move their body in a new way and feel confident about it! So, be sure to check out either mine or Sara’s programs (or do them together!!) to start mixing up how you move your body.


The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase by using the link. Please understand that I recommend these products because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decided to buy.

The post Pregnancy Essentials Workout Collection: Sara Haley appeared first on Knocked-Up Fitness.


Is Diet Coke Bad For You?

Seriously, we have been accused of being sponsored by Coca Cola before by someone who didn’t like it when we said that it’s not that bad for you. There’s the cat out of the bag already.

Why something so insignificant as a can of juice can command such hatred and why it’s the cause of many a hot debate is….well, quite frankly, bizarre.

Anyway, let’s get into it – is diet coke bad for you?

Listen to some and they’ll have you running to the hills with fear. You may have heard:

  • Diet coke causes cancer
  • It tricks your body and turns on fat-storing-mode
  • All diet drinks deplete nutrients and make you hungry
  • It’s filled with chemicals therefore it’s pretty much poison
  • Diet coke is the cause of all things evil, should be banned and how dare you, a nutritionist, say that it shouldn’t be outlawed

Now, before anyone gets even more worked-up and accuses us of saying it’s ‘healthy’ let’s get a few things straight.

There are a lot of myths surrounding the drink that are simply just a load of nonsense. This article is going to clear the confusion. What does the evidence say about diet drinks?

Also, just to clarify, before anyone drops the usual “this is sponsored by Diet Coke” no it isn’t. Pepsi Max or Diet Irn Bru are much better anyway…..

Is Diet Coke Bad For Your Health?

Probably not that bad at all.

There are no studies that indicate any long-term health risks from drinking diet soda. Diet Soda….is not harmful to health, well-being, or body composition

So far, so good for the coke zero and diet coke fans.

There are no studies that indicate any long-term health risks from drinking diet soda.
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What about the cancer risk?

Back in the 60’s, there was a study that linked aspartame (the sweetener in diet coke) with brain tumours but more recent evidence has proven that this isn’t the case and that there is no link between diet drinks and cancer.

A review paper in the Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Journal concluded that:

…the studies provide no evidence to support an association between aspartame and cancer in any tissue…..the weight of scientific evidence confirms that, even in amounts many times what people typically consume, aspartame is safe for its intended uses as a sweetener and flavor enhancer…..

What About The Chemicals?

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My buddy said aspartame ingestion produces methanol and formaldehyde.”

Yes, that’s formaldehyde as in the stuff used to preserve dead bodies.

Whist it is true that aspartame is broken down into methanol (which is then converted into formaldehyde), as well as two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid – it is extremely unlikely to be detrimental to health.

Why? Well, the key is in the dosage.

Just because something has chemicals in it does not mean that it is harmful. Whether a chemical is natural or man-made doesn’t tell you anything about how toxic it is.

There are many naturally occurring chemicals in plants that are extremely toxic to humans in small amounts. On the other hand, there are many man-made chemicals that are totally harmless to us, even when consumed in large quantities.

Toxic fruit?

There are fruits and vegetables that everyone agrees would be classed as ‘natural foods’. However, many contain compounds that have been shown to be toxic to humans. The good news is that the dose is so small that you would never be able to eat enough of them for it to be harmful.

Just because something ‘contains chemicals’ doesn’t mean it’s automatically unhealthy.
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Semi-skimmed milk, for example, contains 6-9x more phenylalanine and 13x more aspartic acid than a diet coke. Tomato juice also has 4-6x more methanol than a diet coke too.

The air you breathe has chemicals in it, then you use that oxygen and that forms chemicals within you. The water you drink is a chemical and then you use it to form more chemicals; all of the carbs, protein and fat you eat are products of chemical reactions and then you use them in chemical reactions in your body.

Finally, formaldehyde is produced by our bodies every day in amounts thousands of times greater than you would ever get from aspartame. It is actually needed to make essential compounds, including your DNA. Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Here’s another example of why dosage is key and just because something “contains chemicals” doesn’t mean it’s automatically unhealthy. Apples, cherries and apricots all contain the poison cyanine!

[RelatedToxins, Diet Cokes, Pseudoscience & Fighting The March Of Unreason]

Do you avoid them for this reason? No, because the dosage is insignificant. Ever heard of apple eaters dropping like flies with cyanide poising, no, of course you haven’t.

Anyway, back to diet coke…

Does it get the thumbs up? No so fast, your dentist won`t be a fan.

One thing to mention is that diet drinks, although sugar free, may not be great for your pearly whites.

Studies have shown that carbonated drinks aren’t great for tooth enamel, which is one reason why you may not want to go overboard with the coke zeros.

So far, according to the science, diet cokes aren’t bad for your health. But…

Is Diet Coke Bad If You’re Trying To Lose Fat?

Let’s get something straight, weight gain and weight loss is determined by calorie balance (calories in vs calories out):

A fundamental principle of nutrition and metabolism is that body weight change is associated with an imbalance between the energy content of food eaten and energy expended by the body to maintain life and to perform physical work” ~ Am J Clin Nutr

A drink that contains zero calories cannot cause you to gain weight. It’s physiologically impossible. There is no evidence that shows drinking diet drinks will result in fat gain.

A drink that contains zero calories cannot cause you to gain weight. It’s physiologically impossible.
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Some studies have actually shown that sweeteners may even improve weight loss and long-term control of body weight.

How can this be? Ever had a sweet tooth? Of course you have. Sometimes artificially sweetened foods, although unlikely to serve any nutritional benefit can eliminate sugar cravings.

If a zero calorie diet coke is the “go to” instead of a 300 calorie chocolate bar, it doesn’t require an expert to explain why this is going to make a difference to the waist line.

[Related: 11 Ridiculous Myths About Fat Loss]

Overweight Folks And Diet Drinks

Now some studies have shown that people who are overweight or obese drink more sugar-free drinks than people who are a healthy weight.

But is the diet coke to blame? Unlikely.

These studies have also shown that the overweight people – who were drinking the diet drinks – had a much higher calorie intake than those who didn’t.

What’s more, people who generally have poor diets may also be more likely to drink diet drinks to offset the high amount of calories consumed by making poor food choices.

Although overweight people may drink more diet drinks, the diet cokes are unlikely to be the cause of the problem. This is a classic example of why correlation does not equal causation. Here’s another example:

In America, in summer, people eat more ice cream. More people also get eaten by sharks in America, in summer..

One does not cause the other, ice cream does not cause shark attacks, just like Diet Coke doesn’t cause obesity.

Ice cream does not cause shark attacks, just like Diet Coke doesn’t cause obesity.
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Does Diet Coke Increase Heart Attack And Stroke Risk?

arginine pre-workout

An observational study published in February 2019 reported that people who drank diet drinks were more likely to suffer from heart attacks or a stroke.

However, because the study was observational it just looks at associations or links between the participants, rather than directly showing that diet drinks increase heart attacks or strokes. It also doesn’t actually explain why diet drinks might be linked to an increased risk. Follow?

Just like in the section above about overweight people drinking more diet coke, the folks more at risk of heart attack or stroke, due to other lifestyle factors, could be drinking more diet drinks in a bid to be healthier or manage their weight.

Lastly, the British Heart Foundation are still are happy with the safety of sweeteners and recommend them over a full sugar drinks every time.

Wait, Does Coke Trick Your Brain?

You’ve heard this one before too, haven’t you? That diet coke tricks your brain that it’s actually sugar.

The argument often centres around insulin (a hormone which plays a key role in the regulation of blood glucose levels). You’ll get folks that say that diet coke causes an insulin spike which results in weight gain.

Again, if you look at the evidence, this doesn’t happen in healthy humans or even in diabetic patients.

Diet Coke Can Clean Coins, So It Can`t Be Good!

The logic applied by some, is that if diet coke can clean coins, it can`t be good for your insides, which seems reasonable.

Other cleaning-related uses for diet coke are that it is good to clean rusted battery terminals, clean toilets and polish cars. The old favourite is that traffic police apparently carry two gallons of coke in their car boots to remove blood from the road after a car accident.

Here’s the deal.

Fizzy drinks contain carbonic acid which make them good stain removers.

Guess what? Plain old fizzy water or soda water does exactly the same thing. It isn’t anything mythical or chemical about the diet coke that makes it a good cleaner. It’s simply the carbonic acid.

Folks have been drinking fizzy water for years with no side effects and again. There is zero evidence that shows moderate consumption is detrimental.

Finally, the gastric acid in your stomach is far stronger than any acids found in fizzy juice anyway.

The Round-Up: Is Diet Coke…or Any Diet Drinks Bad For You?

Diet drinks aren’t ‘healthy’ but there isn’t really anything particularly ‘unhealthy’ about moderate consumption of them either.

If weight loss is the goal then swapping from a regular fizzy drink to a diet drink is probably going to be beneficial. If you’re a fizzy juice fiend then switching from three normal cokes to three diet cokes would cut sugar intake by around 90g. This will reduce calories by almost 400, which will likely help your waist line and you can do so knowing that the evidence shows that it’s safe to do so.

Similarly, if you’re often dehydrated and you find you can’t keep your fluids topped-up because you find water a tad dull then a slash of no-added sugar squash may make drinks more palatable and as a result, improve your hydration levels.

On the other hand, if you currently don’t drink diet coke and you’re perfectly happy with water, teas and coffees and so on then there certainly aren’t any health benefits to be had from diet drinks, you’re not missing anything.

It`s up to you what you drink but plain old water is still our favourite!

What do you think? Do you drink diet coke or do you avoid it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Is Diet Coke Bad For You & Is It Worse Than Regular Coke?

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International Women’s Day: We Celebrate Strength In Motherhood ®

We celebrate Mom – doing her greatest work, whether that’s inside or outside of the home. We celebrate the dad supporting his wife’s career so she can raise a baby AND shatter glass ceilings; the dads who help out with laundry and dishes and scrubbing a toilet so Mom doesn’t feel too overwhelmed – so she feels supported. We celebrate the mom who has to go back to work immediately after her maternity leave is up. The mom who wants to be a stay-at-home mom. The mom who got accepted into a Master’s Program or wants to get her AA or finish college. The family of two moms, or two dads; one mom and one dad or a co-parenting dynamic of a step-mom and a step-dad. We celebrate the WOMEN who are a stand for community. The Strength in Motherhood®.


Diastasis Recti Symptoms: Knowing & Understanding The Signs


The subject of diastasis recti symptoms is a commonly discussed one among expectant mothers; this is because so many pregnant woman find themselves facing this all too prevalent condition. Yet before conducting an in-depth discussion of diastasis recti symptoms, we first must discuss” the pooch”

But before any and all discussions, please watch this video about Diastasis Recti Treatment





The pooch: This is the common but less than technical term applied to the condition known as diastasis recti. To the outside, untrained eye, this condition presents itself in the form of a bulge, much like a standard ‘pregnancy pouch’ that emerges from a woman’s abdominal area in the latter months of her term. Yet in truth, diastasis recti is a serious condition that affects approximately two-thirds of pregnant women.  So in many cases, ‘the pooch’ is in itself a symptom of diastasis recti.

Diastasis recti involves the separating of rectus abdominal muscles from the midline. In point of fact, the word diastasis literally translates to mean separation. This condition can strike virtually anyone, from pregnant ladies (especially those over the age of 35, those having a multiple childbirth in the form of twins, triplets, etc., those birthing babies that are larger in size, those experiencing their second or third pregnancy, women birthing babies close together in timeframe, etc.) to newborn infants, to people–male and female–who don’t diet or exercise in an appropriate, doctor-approved manner.



Diastasis Recti Symptoms During Pregnancy

picture of when is diastasis recti considered severeIf you’re expecting a baby, or even considering a pregnancy, then, by all means, you should research the subject of diastasis recti symptoms during pregnancy. So what exactly should you know about diastasis recti symptoms? Well, like the condition itself, they can vary from person to person. Yet in the majority of cases, the aforementioned pooch stands first and foremost among diastasis recti symptoms. This signifies the bloating of the stomach, which is caused by the pressure that the effects of pregnancy exert against the stomach. The stomach stretches beyond what one would normally expect during the course of a typical pregnancy, thus creating a pooch or bloat that can cause great discomfort for the mom to be.


The bulge can protrude in both the upper and lower regions surrounding the belly button, or individually in one of these physical regions. Ah, but how does one differentiate a diastasis recti pooch from a typical pregnancy pouch? Well, this can be difficult, but the pooch can be indicated by feeling as much as by seeing. If you feel particularly bloated during your pregnancy, particularly during your second or third trimester, and notice more of a bulge or ridge than expected, then you may want to consult your physician or obstetrician about the distinct possibility of diastasis recti.


Diastasis recti symptoms also can include poor posture, as might be expected. When the abdomen bulges, the body might bend forward of its own accord during any attempt at walking or movement. Your shoulders may hunch and your back could angle forward, resulting in particularly poor posture.


Can diastasis recti cause bowel problems?

When assessing and researching the topic of diastasis recti symptoms, one might feel compelled to pose the question, “Can diastasis recti cause bowel problems?” This is a natural and (forgive us) ‘expected’ question, as this condition affects the abdominal area. And as it turns out, diastasis recti has been known to constipation in many cases, along with other gastrointestinal issues. This is primarily owing to the fact that, when one is pregnant and particularly if one suffers from diastasis recti, the back and organs might become supported by weak connective tissue. In addition, pregnant women in general report more frequent instances of constipation throughout the course of their terms. Pregnant women suffering from diastasis recti symptoms also experience other ‘toilet troubles’, to use the most technical term possible, that could include urine leaking and incontinence.


Diastasis Recti Pain After Eating

And speaking of discomfort; back pain is often associated in some measure with the pregnancy experience, and in particular is listed among the top, most frequently reported diastasis recti symptoms. Yet can pregnant women experience diastasis pain in ribs? Yes, it can happen. On its own, diastasis recti pain–especially when severe in nature–is not considered a common symptom of diastasis recti.  Yet aside from back pain, some patients do experience diastasis recti pain after eating. They might report feeling a certain pressure in the wake of their meals–and/or when they exercise their ab muscles to sit down, stand erect, or lie down in a reclining position. This is primarily because the separation of rectus muscles can affect the entire abdominal wall, with the muscles pulling apart at the midline to cause and elicit pain and discomfort in this area. In addition, diastasis recti patients sometimes develop painful hernias that can increase their pain levels exponentially–and annoyingly! And they might experience pelvic floor disorders and pelvic pain.


Any diastasis recti patient who experiences pain in any part of the body should consult their doctors or obstetricians immediately. Don’t take the pain for granted, or accept it as a natural part of pregnancy, or of the diastasis recti experience.


When Is Diastasis Recti Considered Severe?

So when is diastasis recti considered severe? Well while many moms experience this all too common condition, many make it through the experience with little in the way of pain or discomfort. Yet if the patient does experience pain (be it in the back, the abs, the pelvis, etc.) or extreme discomfort, then this would indicate a severe instance of diastasis recti. And in some cases, the intestines can become visible or bulge through spaces between the abdominal muscles. Also, some diastasis recti patients may find it more difficult than usual to move, to push or move objects, or to move about with the same grace or fluidity of motion that they enjoyed before their pregnancy.



picture of diastasis recti surgery


Diastasis Recti Surgery

So if your diastasis recti symptoms are serious or life constraining in nature, then the next logical question would be, “Should I consider diastasis recti surgery?” And in most cases, the answer is no. This is because many instances of diastasis recti can be healed through other means, with time itself acting as a key healing agent in terms of this condition. Time heals most wounds, it’s true; particularly in cases of mild to moderate diastasis recti. So unless one’s physician recommends the surgical removal of painful hernias affiliated with the diastasis recti condition, diastasis recti surgery is not recommended. And really, this only makes sense; why undergo a surgical procedure, with all of the discomfort, cost, and extended recovery periods associated with surgery, when you can resolve your diastasis recti condition in a better, easier, and even more enjoyable fashion (yes, it could happen!)?


Diastasis Recti Exercise

In fact, the phenomenon of diastasis recti exercise is one that is sweeping the world of pregnancy fitness. This may seem surprising, but–just as exercise can be used to tone and strengthen joints and muscles, various and very specific exercises can be used to heal and repair muscles torn, strained and hindered through instances of diastasis recti. Here are just a few:


1. Standing Rotations & Upper Glute Release


2. Pelvic Tilts & Cat Cow



3.  Squats with Rotation:


  1. Breathe out once again before commencing with your next roll, which you should do in five to 10 repetitions.
  1. Part you’re feet to equate shoulder width, then rotating your legs outward from the hip.
  2. Keep your head upward as you squat down. Focus your motion on your hips and behind without exerting the back.
  1. Stand up and rotate toward a single side. Rotate your back leg and pivot up on your toes, all the while extending your arms upward and away from you.
  2. Stand tall, lifting from your core.
  3. Rotate in the direction of the center, repeating the exercise on alternating sides.
  4. Do 10-20 repetitions or as many as you can that feel comfortable.


4. Hip Rolls


picture of diastasis Recti symptoms hip rolls


Hips Rolls make for an excellent lower body workout; here’s how we roll!

    1. Roll your spine upward, a single vertebra at a time, as you articulate your spine.
    1. Pause and inhale deeply once reaching the top.
    1. Breathe out nice and easy, again articulating the good ol’ spine as you return roll down the length of the mat.
    1. When your back is to the mat, breathe in and arch your back.
  1. Breathe out once again before commencing with your next roll, which you should do in five to 10 repetitions.



Diastasis recti symptoms, like many physical conditions associated with pregnancy, do not have to be accepted as a natural part of pregnancy. When it comes to diastasis recti, work it out!

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